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Setting up RAID

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Pinchy, Mar 3, 2007.

  1. Pinchy New Member

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    I finally bought a HDD off ebay to RAID my computer :D

    Its a Maxtor Maxline III 250GB SATA (7200RPM, 16mb cache), which goes perfectly with my Seagate Barracuda 250GB SATAII (7200RPM, 16mb cache)

    Anyway, i bought it a couple of hours back and paid for it, so i should get it within this week.

    Ive got the ASUS P5b Deluxe for information purposes.

    Ok, first thing is first. I hear i have to format the whole comp to get it to work...is that true? OR is there a workaround (a workaround will help a lot :D)

    Secondly, do i just plug the 2nd HDD into the 2nd SATA port? Or do i have to plug it into a special RAID SATA port?

    Thirdly, What is RAID 0+1 and RAID 1? My mobo can support em, but i dont know what they are. I know RAID 0 is using the two HDD's together as one. I dont know anything about RAID 1, and even less about RAID 0+1 :p

    Fourthly, assuming ive formatted or used some work-around....is setting up RAID as simple as enabling it in BIOS and installing the driver in windows? Or is it more complicated?

    Fifthly and finally, what is a good, simple and free partitioning tool? If they arent free, tell me anyway :D I dont want to have 1 big 500GB HDD :p

    Thanks in advanced guys! :D

    Pinchy
     
  2. tigger

    tigger I'm the only one

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    you will HAVE to format,it is the only way.i have the same board.

    i use 1+2 sata connectors for my raid.
    go into bios set it to raid on disc options
    when you reboot you need to press ctrl+c i think to get into the raid setup.
    then you reboot and setup win as normal,for xp you will NEED the raid driver on a floppy for the xp install.press F6 as soon as the setup starts,you will see the message at the bottom of the screen.

    0+1 is for 4 discs i think,2 on raid 0,2 on raid 1.raid 1 is mirrored so if you have 2 100gb discs on raid 1 you will have 100gb space,two 100gb discs on raid 0 would give you 200gb.raid 1 basically writes the same data to both discs at the same time as a backup,if one dies you have ALL your stuff on the other disc which it will boot off and repair the other discs data so it matches again.

    for xp use partition magic 8.

    EDIT-matching discs work the best,i have tried with unmatched ones and had problems,just a heads up
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2007
  3. Wile E

    Wile E Power User

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    Actually, considering that you have to format anyway, you can just use the XP install disk to do it.
     
  4. mikek75

    mikek75 New Member

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    1) Yes, you will need to format the RAID set.

    2) Yes, just plug it into the normal SATA port

    3) RAID 1 duplicates the disks, giving a small boost in performance but more importantly giving constant backup. However, if your installation fails due to a virus, the virus will also be present on the backup!
    RAID 0+1 gives the advantages of RAID 0 (stripes) with the security of RAID 1 (the array is mirrored). You will need 4 identical disks for this setup.

    4) You're RAID controller will have its own "mini BIOS", entered via a key combo usually before you'd get to the main bios. Here you select which disks to use and what type of array you want to build
    Then, in your main bios set you HDD boot priority. Then reboot from your XP disc and press f6 when asked and load your RAID driver.

    5) Since you are installing Windows from scratch you can use XP's own partitioning tool to divide the array as you want, just follow the onscreen prompts. Or use Partition Magic, it isn't free but it can be used from within Windows and has an easy graphical interface.
     
  5. DanTheBanjoman Señor Moderator

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    RAID 1 (or any other level) is NOT a backup. Deletion of data is still a disaster, a virus still rips apart your system. It merely is redundancy in case of hardware failure.
     
  6. mikek75

    mikek75 New Member

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    I was referring to a backup in case of disk failure, and I mentioned that a virus will still be present on the other disk. As for deletion of data, well thats obvious......no protection if you're a muppet.
     
  7. DanTheBanjoman Señor Moderator

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    My point was that you shouldn't call it a backup, specially not when explaining to someone. When you name it a backup people will think it is and will be very sad really soon.
    It already is a common misconception. Redundancy is the right non-misleading word.

    RAID 1 is only nice when downtime can't be afforded, cheap controllers can't hotswap the damaged disk and rebuild on the fly so it's pretty much pointless. Just make decent backups and you're fine.
     
  8. Frogger

    Frogger

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redundant_array_of_independent_disks
    All the reading you could ever ask for :)
    go with '0' and a stripe size of 128[speed] of access or if you do alot of video work 16 or 64
    intel recommends lower stripe size for servers and higher for multimedia systems ie:16kb-low disk usage. 64 typical, 128-performance... just my 2 cents worth...F
     
  9. EviLZeD

    EviLZeD New Member

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    yea i 128 is what i use it heard its good for loading in games and stuff like that
     
  10. DanTheBanjoman Señor Moderator

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    Stripe size and performance aren't the same thing. Larger stripe size performs better with larger files. However if you have a 128K stripe size and your files often are smaller than 128K the file would not be striped but written to just one drive, which obviously gives you no performance gain. If you have many small files a smaller stripe size would be more efficient.
     
  11. Pinchy New Member

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    Wow guys, thanks for the help :D


    I wasnt expecting such in-depth answers...thanks a lot :)!

    In regards to stripe size: I generally copy anything from music files to game files. I would rather see a faster load time in games/XP then copying files around my computer though ;) So what should i set it to?

    Thanks Tigger, i was hoping someone with the same board would post :D Do i need the RAID driver off the ASUS motherboard CD? I havent got a floppy drive, but a USB thumb should work fine aye?

    Do you mean matching hard drives as in brands? OR just in specs (i assume specs, cus i wouldnt know why a brand would matter :p)
     
  12. tigger

    tigger I'm the only one

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    pinchy,

    you do need the raid driver off the cd,unless you dl the latest one from asus.i really dont know if the windows installer will accept a usb stick,i have always used a floppy.you could try it tho'

    i mean matched brand and sizes,even if two drives are the same specs,the controllers are probs differant.i tried two 120gb drives,a maxtor and a hitachi,both 8mb cache.i kept getting errors and occasionally it would lose it and fail to boot,i would have to go into the raid setup and jiggle the settings to get it to boot.

    has anyone else ever tried un matched raid 0? if so can you post your experiences please? good or bad.thx :D
     
  13. Frogger

    Frogger

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    usb won't work ..you will need floppy .. and can confirm "matched brand and sizes" are the best I have also ran into "
    occasionally it would lose it and fail to boot,i would have to go into the raid setup and jiggle the settings to get it to boot." I find that the sys bios will randomly reset to the pri.ide and not see the array..using mixed hdds
     
  14. Pinchy New Member

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    dam....

    Oh well i bought the HDD now, ill see how it goes.

    How about a CD, would that work over a floppy?

    EDIT - lol didnt seagate buy out maxtor :p?
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2007
  15. Frogger

    Frogger

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    the prob with mixed hdd is very!! random like once every 75 boots so giver a try ...if you are doing a re&re install your cd of xp will be in the drive :) raven have one floppy?
     
  16. Pinchy New Member

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    I have a floppy drive but its not plugged in...but im just wondering if i could do it via CD

    I also have a second CD drive lying around :p

    I actually have 2 spare CD drives lying around :p
     
  17. Frogger

    Frogger

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    T^hen plug the f'n floppy in it's the easy way
     
  18. Pinchy New Member

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    Lmao!

    I havent got the HDD yet...itll come sometime next week, thats why im just asking questions for now :rolleyes:

    And the working condition of the floppy drive is debatable :p
     
  19. Frogger

    Frogger

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    windows setup will only 'see' the floppy in an 'F6' setup
     
  20. Frogger

    Frogger

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    just playing with you :toast:
     
  21. Pinchy New Member

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    lmao ok...sounded worse to me :p

    Yeah ill just put the floppy in and save hassels :rolleyes:
     
  22. Pinchy New Member

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    Ok got the HDD :)

    Now, ive plugged it in (to test its working) and set it all up but noticed that its a dynamic drive, while my current HDD is basic...whats the diff and do i need to change?

    Ill probably set up the RAID this weekend (when i have time to backup all my files and format. Correct me if im wrong, but i believe these are the steps i need to take:

    1) Reboot my computer, enter BIOS and turn on RAID
    2) As its starting up, press/hold ctrl + c at the same time, which will lead me to a RAID setup
    3) Reboot once the RAID setup has done.

    confused at this part

    4) Format the Seagate HDD as per normal and let the WinXP files copy.
    5) As the computer reboots and the actual windows setup starts, press F6 (with the floppy containing the RAID driver inserted) and it will install.
    6) Set up the rest of windows as per normal (product key/time and language/etc)

    Correct me if im wrong :D

    And thanks for the responses!
     
  23. Wile E

    Wile E Power User

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    The XP install disk will actually tell you to press F6 to install 3rd party drivers when iit first loads. The XP files can't copy until it has the drivers. An alternative is to use nLite to create a custom install disk, with your RAID drivers integrated.
     
  24. Pinchy New Member

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    I see. So its like:

    1) Reboot my computer, enter BIOS and turn on RAID
    2) As its starting up, press/hold ctrl + c at the same time, which will lead me to a RAID setup
    3) Reboot once the RAID setup has done.
    4) Format the Seagate HDD as per normal and let the WinXP files copy.
    5) As the computer reboots and the actual windows setup starts, windows will ask me to press F6. Then press F6 (with the floppy containing the RAID driver inserted) and it will install.
    6) Set up the rest of windows as per normal (product key/time and language/etc)
    7) Its good to go :)
     
  25. Wile E

    Wile E Power User

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    F6 driver will come after step 3, but before step 4
     

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